College Football Picks Week 12: Top Talent Heads on the Road
With Oregon, Auburn and TCU having the week off, and Boise State playing a local JV program, college football fans must look to the rest of the league for entertainment. While most of the top teams aren’t playing, the ones that are must head on the road against tough teams, both unranked and ranked. Last week, No. 1 Oregon had a scare against the California Golden Bears, but left them in a crumpled heap in Berkeley (don’t worry, they weren’t actually hurt).
As the season winds down, it appears that there will be little movement among the top 10. Unless Oregon and Auburn stumble, they will be in the national championship game. But a few teams have the chance to make statements for bowl invites this weekend. Here will be some fun games to watch.
No. 6 Stanford at Cal
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A week after they nearly upset Oregon, Cal will look to beat No. 6 Stanford at home. While their game last week may have shown off the stamina of their training staff as much as their own abilities, Cal does have a very good defense and should be able to keep it close at home against Stanford.
Because their game comes less than one week after Oregon stumbled at Cal, Stanford has a chance to make a statement about how much they’ve improved over the course of the season. Look for Andrew Luck to make Cal look silly this weekend.
No. 7 Wisconsin at Michigan
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For a time, Denard Robinson looked like a shoe-in for the Heisman. Now, Rich Rodriguez has his once-proud program struggling again. This weekend they have a chance to make a statement and beat No. 7 Wisconsin at home.
Despite being unranked, Michigan is 3-3 in the Big Ten and has played well this season. This game could be more of a surprise than the rankings suggest.
No. 8 Nebraska at No. 19 Texas A&M
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Who would have thought that the only Texas team ranked this late in the season would be the Aggies? A&M has played well this season, and has a chance to tie for top in the Big 12 South. They face a tough match in Bo Pelini’s Cornhuskers—who have only lost to one team this season—Texas.
Can there be a second victory over Nebraska for a Texas squad this season?
No. 9 Ohio State at No. 20 Iowa
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Ricky Stanzi and Iowa host the Ohio State Buckeyes in a Big-Ten matchup. The Hawkeyes are a surprising team, and should be a big obstacle in Ohio States trek back to the Rose Bowl. Until last week’s loss to Northwestern, the Hawkeyes had only lost to two ranked teams, Arizona and Wisconsin. But they beat No. 5 Michigan State, badly.
No. 16 Virginia Tech at No. 24 Miami
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After starting the season slowly (they lost to frickin’ James Madison!), Virginia Tech has come around and played well down the stretch. They are 6-0 in the ACC, and rolling, having won eight in a row.
The U isn’t the same team they were ten years ago, but they are still tough. They’ve only lost two games this season, both to ranked teams, and neither at home. This isn’t Dennis Erickson’s U, but they should look good against Virginia Tech this weekend.